We will no longer be supporting IE7 and below as a web browser effective June 1st 2020. Click here for more information.

Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksMatthews-Innovation-Gallery-Project Matthews Innovation Gallery Project
At The Museum > Matthews Innovation Gallery Project

Matthews Innovation Gallery Project

The Museum grounds remain closed in order to remove a number of trees.  These trees, primarily red pine, have reached their end of life and are now deemed hazardous. They are being removed to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, and heritage buildings.  Select trees have also been marked for removal in preparation for the Matthews Innovation Gallery Expansion, scheduled for construction in early Spring, 2024.



County building up heritage and culture at Simcoe County Museum 

Make a donation to the Matthews Innovation Gallery Project​

  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R02.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R02.jpg
  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R03.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R03.jpg
  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R04.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R04.jpg
  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R06.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R06.jpg
  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R07.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R07.jpg
  • SCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R08.jpgSCM_230530_Pt 1_Schematic Design Report_R08.jpg

Midhurst/June 27, 2023Today, County Council endorsed the plan to build up the heritage and cultural buildings at the Simcoe County Museum in a total estimated $18 million expansion including the creation of the Matthews Innovation and Transportation Gallery. The plan also includes a number of upgrades to the existing Museum over a seven-year period including improved gallery space and visitor experience, environmentally-friendly design with a Zero Carbon Building, improved security for temporary exhibits, and a more efficient room for meetings and special events.  

Occurring over three phases, this expansion will begin with its most ambitious project – the 5,000 square foot Matthews Innovation and Transportation Gallery and a 2,300 square foot space for curatorial functions and collections storage. An additional 2,633 square foot mezzanine overlooking the new gallery will provide opportunities for additional themed exhibitions as well as interpretive and programming space.

 “This exciting project that we are undertaking preserves the past while looking to the future of the Simcoe County Museum,” said Warden Basil Clarke. “This is largely thanks to the generosity of the late Charles Matthews, who saw something special in this museum and the history it showcases. We are incredibly grateful for the legacy he has left behind and it is an honour to name the new gallery the Matthews Innovation and Transportation Gallery in his memory.” 

The Matthews Innovation and Transportation Gallery is named in honour of Simcoe County Museum’s largest-ever donor, Charles Matthews, whose bequest of almost $5 million will allow the museum to better display and care for museum collections, highlight Simcoe County’s historical innovation, and provide enhanced cultural and heritage experiences for residents and visitors. 

In addition to the noted long-term and ongoing utility cost savings that a Zero Carbon Building will provide, the design offers additional benefits: 

  • ​​Charred timber construction offers opportunities to showcase, interpret, and honour the County of Simcoe’s foresight and innovation in the establishment and century long operation of county forests. 

  • ​Triple glazed windows provide an exceptional view to the heritage and display buildings on the grounds, while offering increased insulation as well as UV protection for the benefit of the artifacts on display. 

  • ​​​​Solar panels offset the hydro consumption required to power the addition solely using electricity and provides countless interpretive opportunities to discuss concepts such as innovation, sustainability, environmental impact on our area, both past and present. 

​Work on all phases are expected to be complete by 2030, in time for the celebration of the Simcoe County Museum’s 100th anniversary. Work on phase one is expected to begin in spring 2024 with an estimated completion in 2026. 

Notice of Collection, Use and Disclosure

Personal information is collected by the County of Simcoe (the “County") under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 section 11 and shall be used for the purpose of processing your donation including issuing a tax receipt, and for other administrative purposes. It may also used to provide updates on progress towards fundraising goals and to ask you for feedback related to your donation. Personal information may also be collected and used for the purposes of soliciting further donations for the Simcoe County Museum by way of email correspondence or other means. Personal information will be collected by a third party service provider Active Network, LLC (“ACTIVE") for the purpose of administration of online donations and will not be used for other purposes. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information, please contact Kelley Swift-Jones, Museum Curator at 1151 Highway 26, Minesing, ON or (705) 728 - 3721.

This Notice will be available in alternate format or with communication support, upon request.​​